Wednesday, July 31, 2013

From Miss to Mrs: You Are My Fire

After our first dance, I had planned for the boy and I to say a few words welcoming everyone to the reception. And by planned I mean I knew, but the boy, not so much. Either I told the boy and he forgot, or I never told him because I assumed he would forget, which ever way it was, he had nothing planned. Which is somewhat amusing considering his words sounded rehearsed, in compared to myself who seemed to have no idea what to say.

The Boy: We're glad you could drag yourself away from hurricane recovery and/or brave the traffic from various airports. We thank you for attending our wedding this evening... hot, maybe too much outside... we appreciate that.
Shoshanah:Thank you all for coming!
The plan from there was to go right into our cake cutting, although there was a bit of miscommunication on the timing. Since we didn't have a cocktail hour, we had our first dance earlier than scheduled. I guess not everyone assumed we would also be moving up the cake cutting. Our photographer hadn't taken detail shots of the cake yet, and they hadn't put out knifes for us yet, but it still worked out fine.
Although it did mean by the time we were cutting our official song ended, but it still went over well with the crowd. As for our official song, none other than the Backstreet Boys' I Want it That Way.
Originally the boy had argued for no Backstreet Boys music. But since he hates desserts anyways, the cake cutting was really just for me. So didn't it also make sense to have the cake song be just for me too? That finally convinced him, at least as long as that one song was the only time BSB would be played at the wedding.
We were nice to each other feeding bites, although I did make sure every crumb of cake went to good use.
Lucky for you, there's video of how most of it all went down, from my awkward welcome to our guests cheers once they realized what song was actually playing.

Personal Video
Are you a fan of cake smashing? Or are you more worried about making sure you get your bites of cake?

All photos in this post courtesy of Sabree Hill Photography.

Miss a Recap Post?
From Miss to Mrs: The Calm Before the Storm
From Miss to Mrs: There's a Hurricane Coming?
From Miss to Mrs: Here Comes Isaac
From Miss to Mrs: Weathering the Cane
From Miss to Mrs: After the Storm
From Miss to Mrs: Trials and Tribulations
From Miss to Mrs: The Last Errands
From Miss to Mrs: A Night on the Town
From Miss to Mrs: The Hangover
From Miss to Mrs: Rehearsing in the Heat
From Miss to Mrs: The Last Single Supper
From Miss to Mrs: Gifting the Girls
From Miss to Mrs: The Last Single Night
From Miss to Mrs: Oh What a Beautiful Morning
From Miss to Mrs: Getting Prettified
From Miss to Mrs: Prepping the Plantation
From Miss to Mrs: Turtle Time
From Miss to Mrs: The Photographer Has Arrived
From Miss to Mrs: Becoming the Bride
From Miss to Mrs: Dress Details
From Miss to Mrs: Ou Est le Groom?
From Miss to Mrs: A Bridge-y First Look
From Miss to Mrs: Couple Time
From Miss to Mrs: Just the Two of Us
From Miss to Mrs: Grouping the Girls
From Miss to Mrs: Ain't No Party Like a Bridal Party
From Miss to Mrs: Fun with Family
From Miss to Mrs: Making it Official
From Miss to Mrs: The Bedeken
From Miss to Mrs: The Final Minutes
From Miss to Mrs: Programming Break
From Miss to Mrs: The Processional
From Miss to Mrs: Walking the Walk
From Miss to Mrs: Circle to Ceremony
From Miss to Mrs: Remembrance to Kiddush
From Miss to Mrs: The Exchanges
From Miss to Mrs: Lucky Number Seven
From Miss to Mrs: Mazel Tov
From Miss to Mrs: Ceremony Details
From Miss to Mrs: The Yichud
From Miss to Mrs: Extended Fun with Family
From Miss to Mrs: The One Who Found You
Chits and Giggles

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Seeing Red Again

Red 2
I don't have a lot to say about this one, not because it wasn't bad (I actually really enjoyed it), but it's exactly what you expect it to be. The movie was a lot of fun, and I even enjoy watching it again. And this time with a bigger budget they're traveling across Europe, instead of the US, which was fun to see. I'm not sure it's worth rushing out to the theaters to see. But do think you could have an enjoyable afternoon in the theater with this.

Monday, July 29, 2013

More Magical Hats

Tilda Pinkerton’s Magical Hats by the Red Tractor Mailbox by Angela Shelton
April 1, 2013 by Quiet Owl Books
First Published: September 7, 2012
After really enjoying my first Tilda book, I was quick to jump on to review my second. Although this isn't really a sequel, since the one prior was a Middle Grade book (taking place on the planent Ooleeoo), while this is meant for elementary school aged children (and takes place back on Earth).

First, judging the book by its appearance, it looks awesome. At the start of each chapter, and a few places throughout, there a pictures meant to be colored in. There's even a note on the first page saying "You can color in this book too! (if it belongs to you)" to let kids they really are supposed to color the pages in. Each chapter also ends with a list of "Bigger Words" and with their definition in a glossary at the book's end.

As for the story itself, it is awfully cute. It actually reminds me of one of my favorites from my childhood Miss Rumphius, with the desire to make the world into a more wonderful, beautiful place.

I do think the conflict resolution here isn't the most believable, but I guess it does work for a children's book. Clearly I'm not the intended audience here, but I still had fun, and would be happy to pass this on or recommend it to any parent I know.


Disclosure: I was provided this book through Virtual Author Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mailbox Monday (41)

I have a fairly light mailbox this week, at least compared to the weeks I've been having. I think the last week I posted such a small mailbox was almost 2 months ago. Crazy right? As normal, Mailbox Monday is a weekly gathering place for bloggers to share the books they've picked up recently. It was started by Marcia, who now blogs at To Be Continued..., and travels to a new host each month. For weeks in July, we've been linking up at Book Obsessed.
Mailbox Monday
From Paperback Swap
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
When I started using Paperback Swap, I went through my list of YA series I've been wanting to read and added them to my wish list. This is one of the first that made it my way. I've heard so many positive things about this series and author, so hopefully it's one I enjoy as well.

From Goodreads
The Spiral Staircase by Karen Armstrong
Yes, I do feel guilty, because this is yet another goodreads giveaway win. This is a memoir of a former nun who battles depression, and it seems learns more about herself while writing about different religions.

What did you find in your mailbox this week? And what do you consider a "light" week of books?

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a $50 Shabby Apple giftcard.

Friday, July 26, 2013

One Choice Can Destroy You

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
May 1, 2012 by Katherine Tegen Books
Looking back on Divergent, I remember enjoying it but don't feel a huge obsession about it. Of course rereading my review it seems it was there, but being almost a year since I read it over a day or two, it isn't that clear in my mind. At least it wasn't till I started the sequel, and got wrapped up in the world again and remembered that yes, it is worth obsessing.

Reading this at first I was a little disappointed that there couldn't be as much world building as the first. Except the more I got into it, the more I realized it's there, just more subtly. While the first book showed us Abnegation and Dauntless factions in great detail, this time we're able to see inside Amnity, Candor, and Erudite. Maybe not all at once, but piece by piece the factions come alive.

I also thought Tris and Four relationship in this was really interesting. There are so many up and downs, and its interesting to see how their relationships evolves through it. Also, normally in a book like this it feel the characters are kept apart by created circumstances. And while there is a bit of that here, since it's told from Tris' point of view, you can't always figure out exactly what to make of Four.

If I have any complaint about this (which I don't really), is how much happened in it. Looking back it almost feels like reading 3 different book with how many changes there are. And of course there's the cliffhanger, which while you saw it coming, still was shocking. To the point that as soon as it ended I was on my phone looking up information, trying to make sense of it. Thankfully, the third book, Allegiant comes out this fall so we won't have to wait long to have those questions answered!


Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a $50 Shabby Apple giftcard.

Today I'm linking up with Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Moth and a Pear Tree

The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay
July 2, 2013 by Harper Perennial
First Published: October 25, 2011
I went into this not knowing what to expect. Even though part of me knew it was a historical fiction, for some reason I expected hints of a dystopian society. Also, while I had read rave reviews of it, I also remembered hearing that it wasn't as good as the author's first. So I may not have had the highest expectations, but maybe that's part of the reason I fell in love with this so easily.

The story takes place in the 1870s in New York City, a time I haven't really read before. Although since I have read books that take places in the 1850s and others in the 1900s, did think it was an interesting mix of the two periods.

I'm almost at a loss of words on how to describe, although part of that is because I think it's better if you go in not knowing what to expect. Parts of it did remind me of Nell Gwynn in The Darling Strumpet, except while Nell winds up giving birth to the son of a king, the prospects for our heroine, Moth, aren't nearly as bright.

There's an ominous feeling through most of the book that something awful is about to happen. Yet when it finally hits, while it doesn't play out the way you expected, but it still heartbreaking.

My main regret with this, is that I read it so quickly. But hearing that the author's first novel is supposed to be even better gives me a lot of look forward!


Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a $50 Shabby Apple giftcard.

Disclosure: I was provided this book through TLC Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Apple-icious {Giveaway}

If you've been reading blogs for any amount of time, I'm sure by now you've probably heard of Shabby Apple. Shabby Apple is an online dress boutique that specializes in vintage and retro dresses, and they have offered to give away $50 to one of my readers.

I haven't actually purchased anything from Shabby Apple before, so I can't quite vouch for the quality, but do think some of their dresses are awfully adorable. If I won, and had $50 to spend, here are some of the dress I just might purchase for myself.
Now I may not able to purchase any of these dresses for free, but you can! (Or at least use $50 towards your purchse.) Just enter to win using the rafflecopter form below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

In a Time Like This Where Love Comes 'Round

Yes, it's that of year again! The Backstreet Boys have a new album! Well, maybe you didn't know, but if that's the case, I'm here to save the day. They do! And it comes out one week from today, on July 30. I've blogged my Backstreet obsession before, so if you've been on From L.A. to LA for any length of time this post should be too much of a surprise. But since this post couldn't be complete without some of their music, here's their new video for their single, "In a World Like This."
I will recommend that you watch in full screen because it's a beautiful video. And while I mean that in terms of looks, it actually tells a beautiful story that may have brought a tear or two to my eye. Plus the boys all looks like they're having so much fun while filming.

Did you know the Backstreet Boys have a new album coming out? Do you think you'll be purchasing it? Obviously, the answer for me is a definite, yes!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monsters vs. Machines

Pacific Rim
Leaving the theater for this the boy told me, "You better write this a positive review," except wow... Let's just say if you're the type that loved Sharnado, you'll probably love this too.

I will say the movie surprised me, since I thought it would be the world reacting to a monster attack. Except the main story takes place 20 years after the monsters have arrived, and instead the humans are loosing the war (even with their giant "Power Ranger" type machines). I will say that the fight scenes, as well as the movie as a whole, did look cool.

But... the whole thing was just so cheesy and over the top. Several times throughout the movie I remarked to the boy, "This movie is awful! You can't be enjoy this can you?" To which he'd reply, "Yes! This is awesome! Quit talking and ruining this amazing movie!"

Basically, it seems there are a lot of people obsessed with this, but I guess I'll just have to remain unconverted to their cause.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mailbox Monday (40)

The amount of books I've been picking up lately is starting to get ridiculous. I'm not really complaining, but I'm getting close. I just don't see how I'm going to find the time to read them all. Even so, I still get so excited every time I open my mailbox to package. Which is why I'm sharing all my finds on Mailbox Monday hosted by Book Obsessed for the month of July.
Mailbox Monday
Won from Historical Tapestry
The Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick
I've heard SO many great things about Elizabeth Chadwick's books, but I've yet to read a single one. I'm so excited to finally have the chance. This one of hers is about Eleanor of Aquitaine, a Queen (times two!) that I thinks awfully fascinating.

For Review from Historical Fiction Book Tours
The Bequest of Big Daddy by Jo-Ann Costa
This is a historical fiction that takes place during the Civil War. I remember Lisa reading it, and it definitely has me intrigued.

From Goodreads
The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen
Out of all the ones I've won from Goodreads lately, this is the one I'm most excited about. It's a retelling of history asking, "What if Anne Boleyn had a son?"

The Wedding Gift by Marlen Suyapa Bodden
This is another around the Civil War. The title comes from a father giving his daughter a slave, Sarah, as a wedding gift.

For Review
Me on The Floor Bleeding by Jenny Jagerfeld
This is a YA book that I believe was first published in Sweden. Just from the title and cover, I'm awfully intrigued by it.

What did you find in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Project 365: Days 192 Through 199

I'm still on track for completely my Project 365! And I'm even posting my photos two weeks a row. Looks like I'm on a roll so far!
The Figs are Ripe
July 11, 2013 - 192/365: The figs are finally ripe! I took this photo right after it rained which is why everything's kind of shiny. But don't they look pretty?
Fence Down
July 12, 2013 - 193/365: Speaking of rain, part of our fence fell over in a large thunderstorm. So guess, what we're doing today? Why, yes, we're fence rebuilding! Isn't that exciting...
Inside a Fig
July 13, 2013 - 194/365: In case you've never eaten a fig (which I hadn't till we lived in this house), this is what they look like inside.
Pesto Pasta at Rotolos
July 14, 2013 - 195/365: The first time I went to Rotolo's I had a calzone which I really liked (and I don't normally like calzones). But the next time I had lasagna which I wasn't a huge fan of. This time I had their pesto pasta, which wasn't bad, but a little too oil-y for my taste. I'm guessing it'll be a while before we go back, although I may just have to stick to calzones the next time.
Lamb with Roasted Figs & Potatoes
July 15, 2013 - 196/365: The boy asked what he should make for dinner this week, and I suggested something with figs. So he decided on lamb with roasted potatoes and figs. So good!
Skyfactor CD
July 16, 2013 - 197/365: I won this cd from Suz at 30 Before 30 List. I've only listened to it once so far, but so far I'm enjoying it.
Cheese & Wine
July 17, 2013 - 198/365: Wine & Brie.
Lunch at Whole Foods
July 18, 2013 - 199/365: Yes another lunch at Whole Foods.

When was the last time you had to build a fence, if ever? Today will be my first time doing so. Hopefully the boy at least knows what he's doing!

I'm linking this post up with Random-osity & Kleinworth & Co. for Project 52!

Friday, July 19, 2013

June Dreams, July's Promise, & August Magic

Beach Blondes by Katherine Applegate
: May 6, 2008 by Simon Pulse
This book was actually originally published in 1995, except at that point was 3 separate books. Instead they reissued the first 3 in the series as a giant omnibus in 2008. It actually works was as a single book since it's really one entire summer. There was a little repetition in the start of each month, but besides that if you didn't know, I think it would be hard to figure out they were supposed to be separate.

I went into these hopping they'd be full all nostalgia, for several reasons. This is they type of book I remember loving to read over the summer in high school. (My favorite was one about 3 brothers, while each book in the series featured one and their relationship.) Plus the author is Katherine Applegate, better known as K.A. Applegate, author of the animorphs books. (So what if I was slightly too old for that series when it was published. My brother wasn't so we had a house full of them, and while I wouldn't have admitted it at the time, may have loved them more than he did.)

Also, since this was written in the 90s, was hoping to really get lost in that time period. And there were moments when I did, like when Summer used a pay phone at the airport or videos herself on a VHS tape. Except all the pop culture references were updated. It mentions Kanye West and Orlando Bloom who weren't big till more than a decade later. Plus it has a character listening to an ipod. Part of me does understand why they updated the references, that way a teen reading it now would get them, but I would have liked it more it the original 90s references had been left.

As for the story, it is a little over the top and unbelievable. After all Summer is an innocent girl who's never had a guy notice her, but she spends the summer in Florida and every guy she meets falls all over her? Not quite believable, but probably a Cinderella type story I would have loved in high school. And while I can't quite say the stories got more believable as it went on, they definitely got more extreme and exciting.

I do actually have the book of the second summer already, so I'll probably wind up reading it. Which means I'd probably want to pick up the spring break book first, aptly title Spring Break. What's funny though is that if I didn't already own a book in the series, I couldn't really see myself finishing it (although it was nice reading it for on one day at the beach on our Florida vacation).


Today I'm linking up with Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday!

Thursday, July 18, 2013


One of my 101 in 1001 goals is to visit 10 locals restaurants, and by my monthly book club meetings I've been doing that almost by default. Number 4 on my list was our April meeting spot, The Pelican House, and number 5 is Portico, where we met in May and June.
Apple Melon Martini for Book Club
Both times I've been there I've had an apple melon martini, which looks awfully cute and is tasty as well. I've only ordered a meal there once, and went with their lasagna.
Lasagna at Portico's
I am a bit obsessed with lasagna in general, and haven't found one yet I haven't enjoyed. But while I ate every bite of this, I wasn't a huge fan of it. It felt like half of the dish was the top layer of cheese, and there wasn't a lot of pasta-y goodness. Also, I would have loved if it came with garlic or cheese toast, but instead it came with a plain slice of toast. Not bad, but not very inspired either.

I have had their blueberry bread pudding, and thought it was absolutely amazing. In fact, I devoured it so quickly I didn't get a picture. But I'd love to try it again.

Portico is a cute little place with a great environment. Both times we've been there, there's been live music on the patio. I'd definitely love to go back, and hopefully my next choice works out better than their lasagna.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tea for Two

Together Tea by Marjan Kamali
: May 21, 2013 by Ecco
Going into this book I was expected a cute chick lit with a matchmaking mother, and a daughter wanting to find love on her own. That's the type of book I enjoy, and would have been perfect for the beach (which is where I was when reading). Except, I was pleasantly surprised and am happy to say this was so much more than that.

The first part of the novel takes place in 1996 when Darya and her 20-something daughter, Mina, both reach the decision that the need to go back to Iran in order to move forward in their lives. The second section, goes back in time to 1978, the dawn of the Iranian revolution, how it impacted Darya, Mina, and their family and what it was like escaping to America. The final third detailed their trip back to Iran.

I don't think I've ever read anything that takes place in Iran, and was fascinated by all the information here. While I do have some idea of the revolution and what happened, I learned far more from this "chick lit" than anything else in my life so far.

In addition, while I loved the history and culture, Mina's story is what really spoke to me. So much of this book is Mina's journey finding herself and discovering what she wants with her life. (Darya had a similar path, but given the age difference it was harder for me to identify with her.) Part of me wants to classify this as new adult, as in the becoming an adult, but not quite sure how that's supposed to happen (similar to my reaction to Bond Girl), except with out the ridiculously naive girl that seems to be standard in the NA genre.

The novel end came close to bringing me to tears, and probably would have if I wasn't reading it in an elevator full of 20 people. But it was so good, I couldn't put it down. I really, truly loved my experience with this book, and feel like this is one I need to start loaning out so everyone I know can discover it.


Disclosure: I was provided this book through TLC Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Back to Being Despecible

Despicable Me 2
I remember when I first saw Despicable Me, I wound up being really pleasantly surprised. It wasn't a movie I had wanted to see initially, but actually wound up loving. Except this time, I went into it with high expectations. And while I did enjoy it, I don't think it was as good as the first.

I will give it props on how the previews didn't give away the entire film. Yes, some of the better jokes were in the previews, but there were still a good number of surprises. And I do think it was age appropriate, which I didn't think was quite the case with Monsters University.

I am a little surprised with myself, that I don't have more to say on this, but can at least say it's enjoyable and while we didn't see it in 3-D, I think this would actually be worth it.

Monday, July 15, 2013

July Blog Love

Each month I've been highlighting the sponsors you see on my sidebar, hoping to share a few posts I think you should check out!

Beyond the Aisle
Summer Recipe: Mixed-Berry Cobbler for the 4th of July!

Vacation Recap: Tennessee... and the Titanic?
"Our first stop was Sevierville, Tennessee, better known as the hometown of Dolly Parton and the gateway of the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg touristy area... I had tried to prepare him by explaining that Pigeon Forge is like a redneck version of Las Vegas. It is so delightfully tacky, complete with things like this brand-new Titanic Museum Attraction, which my sister in law and I could not resist dragging Mr. Q to on the second day of our vacation."
Would you ever visit a Titanic museum on vacation? It's a definite yes from me, but I'm not sure the boy would be quite as on board for it.

If you want to look into sponsoring From L.A. to LA check out my sponsor page.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mailbox Monday (39)

I may have missed linking up with Mailbox Monday last week, but am back strong this week. I clearly I must have whatever the goodreads algorithm in looking for, because my winning streak has continued. I'm not necessarily complaining, but I do feel a tiny bit guilt when I know some people have never won. But before the books, wanted to make sure you know that July's host is Book Obsessed.
Mailbox Monday
From Goodreads
Ostrich by Matt Greene
This one's supposed to be similar to The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-time, which is one I've never read although have heard heard good things about. Hopefully this is one people will be talking about as well.

The Distraction Addiction by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
This looks to be somewhat of a self-help book on being less distracted by all the media devices we now seemed to be surrounded by.

The Village by Nikita Lalwani
I actually didn't realize till after I won this, but I had read the author's first book Gifted. It's actually one I wasn't a huge fan of, so hopefully I like this one more.

Fact of Life by Denise Vega
This one look like a cute YA/chick lit type. Plus it's signed and they included a bookmark.

Someday My Prince Will Come by Jerramy Fine
I LOVED this book when I first read it. So much that I started loaning it out and wanted all my friends to read it. Except I lost touch with the friend who last had it, and never saw my copy again. I told myself if I ever say it on clearance again, I would buy it. Which is why while in Florida when stopping at Barnes & Nobles to pick up a board game (since we were getting restless trapped in a condo with rain everyday), I picked this up as well. Completely normal to buy a book you've already read while on vacation just to add to your collection, right?

What did you find in your mailbox this week? And what's the last book you just had to purchase even though it was one you had read before?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Project 365: Days 181 Through 191

Since I was spending time in Florida last week, I didn't get to chance to share my project 365 photos. Of course that does mean that this week not only am I back with daily photos, but more photos from Florida!
Finally on Instagram
June 30, 2013 - 181/365: Yes, I'm finally on instagram! Follow me @Shoshanahinla!
Cacio e Pepe
July 1, 2013 - 182/365: The boy made Cacio e Pepe for dinner. Which is Italian for pasta with butter and pepper, plus a few artichokes for fun.
Blooming Azaleas
July 2, 2013 - 183/365: Blooming azaleas.
July 3, 2013 - 184/365: Only 1 mile to Long Beach! Except unfortunately not Long Beach, CA. Instead we were driving past Long Beach, MS on our way to Florida.
Wasting Time
July 4, 2013 - 185/365: Goofing off while shopping at the outlets.
Without beach friendly weather... off to wine tasting.
July 5, 2013 - 186/365: Wine tasting on a rainy day.
About to Jump
July 6, 2013 - 187/365: Ready to jump!
July 7, 2013 - 188/365: Our last morning, watching our niece and nephew play in the pool.
Pad Thai
July 8, 2013 - 189/365: Back in Louisiana, the boy made Pad Thai for dinner.
Molly is Retiring
July 9, 2013 - 190/365: The last of the American Girl dolls from my childhood, Molly, is finally being retired. So sad...
Roast Chicken For Dinner
July 10, 2013 - 191/365: The boy roasted this gorgeous chicken.

Obviously the most pressing questions from these photos, which American Girl doll did you have? I had Felicity and Doll of Today growing up, but bought a Samantha when I heard they were retiring her.

I'm linking this post up with Random-osity & Kleinworth & Co. for Project 52!